I was sitting in the core (a large and severely over-air-conditioned tangle of cords, video tape machines, and patch bays that is the nerve center of a post-production house) at work (though I actually got pulled in on a video editing session today cause we were shorthanded) and a thought struck me, so I started to scribble things down on a legal pad:
It’s hard for smart people to find love (or in my case, keep it), because we have a severe tendency to overanalyze things.
Now before I continue, I know some of you are saying, Jesus, Ellen, we read this all the time and you’re not that fucking smart. And I know that damn well. I’m not even close to as smart as most of my friends, and my cousin Jeff’s son Jesse put me in my place when I was 17.
I was at my cousin Amy’s wedding, doing my precalculus homework. I got stuck on a problem, and Jesse (then 8 years old) comes up and says, “Whatcha doin’?”
“Math homework,” I said, dejectedly.
“Lemme see…Oh, that’s wrong,” he said, looking over my shoulder.
“It is?” I asked, dumbfounded.
“Yeah, you gotta do it like this,” he said, and proceeded to do the problem very quickly.
I looked in the back of the book, and he had gotten the problem exactly right. “How did you do that?!” I asked.
“Oh, I took that class last year,” he said, and skipped off to find his father. I knew the kid was smart before, but man, did I feel fucking stupid after that.
Anyway, getting back to my original point, I think that part of the reason that intelligent people have trouble finding and/or keeping love is the tendency towards severe overanalyzation.
We are dissectors. We try to predict the future. We try to get inside people’s heads.
The last one is an especially bad idea in a relationship. Because the person you are dating is not thinking what you think they’re thinking. You spend all your time analyzing what the fuck is going wrong, what’s wrong under the surface, or, what the hell happened once everything collapses.
In reality it’s simply a failure to communicate because you’re too busy trying to figure out what the other person is thinking, and not actually asking them what they’re thinking.
That just kind of struck me while I was trying to keep blood flowing to my feet in a frozen room full of whirring machines this afternoon.
That, and the fact that Formula One racing is really fucking amusing when viewed backwards.